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Monday 5 October 2020

HOOPOE At Wighton! Garden Drove, Warham Greens & Wells!

Feeding happily at Wighton


I was so tired last night I couldn't even write yesterday's post up, so had to catch up on sleep this morning and then sat with a cup of tea typing up my bird news. I then discovered to my horror, that my temporary filling put in by my dentist (at my half way stage of root canal treatment) had fallen out! Where though?! Now I'm left with a very sharp jagged tooth with a deep hole. I phoned the dentist reception, who were extremely unhelpful and said I would have to go and buy a DIY filling kit from the chemist!!! NO.......! After a heated discussion, I have to ring the reception at 8.30am tomorrow, to get a triage telephone appointment with the dentist. Its quite straight forward as far as I'm concerned – the filling has fallen out, so they either need to fill it temporarily again or bring the late October appointment forward, to finish the root canal treatment?!

Being up late isn't funny at all, when you hear there is a Isabelline Shrike sp. in more or less the exact spot where I was standing last night in Thornham. Luckily it turned out to be the very pale Red-backed Shrike that has been in the area recently. After having an extremely late breakfast..... I headed to Wighton!



When I first arrived at the dung heap and field at Wighton, the Hoopoe was not showing. It was somewhere in the vegetation to the right of the dung heap I was told. I waited........ a bit later it was showing, well bits of it were showing as it moved through green vegetation and grasses, feeding happily. Then it disappeared out of view behind the dung heap. We all continued to wait. I wondered if it was feeding on the other side of the dung heap, so slowly walked along the hedge a bit further and not only was it the other side of the dung heap, it was only yards in front of me feeding amongst the chamomile and mixed crop, oblivious to my presence behind the hedge – it was so close that I hardly dare breathe! A Cley birder turned up who had not seen the Hoopoe at all yet and it was so close, he couldn't see where I was silently pointing – he was looking further away. When he realised how close it was, I don't think he could quite believe it! Others joined us and everyone was silent and we all enjoyed incredible views from behind the hedge. The Hoopoe moved closer and closer to us as it fed. I don't think I have ever watched a Hoopoe this close or seen one eating so much and so quickly. It was fabulous to watch! It found so many grubs, one after the other, only seconds apart – it was truly magical to watch as he threw his head back to gulp down each grub! Every now and again that magical crest would fan out – you can't beat an exotic Hoopoe! Eventually he moved further to the right and when I wasn't looking he flew off over the dung heap again I was told. My arms were aching so much from holding my camera up for so long!



Headed to Garden Drove at Warham Greens. Parked up in the concrete pad and walked along the track in the rain to the copse and back and sadly saw nothing, but did hear one interesting 'trill', but couldn't locate the bird. It wasn't a Wood Warbler, as all one tone and it didn't call again, I just couldn't place the call. Went to the cemetery in Wells opposite the Co-op and had a look for Yellow-browed Warblers, but found none, only Robins and a Blackbird. Got some supplies from the Co-op and returned home. A fabulous afternoon, thanks to the Hoopoe! A work HCA colleague kindly messaged me today, to say the 'Hoopoe is back', which got me wondering..... her father lives in Wells and she told me about the Hoopoe that her father had seen at Wighton, back in August! Is this the same bird that I failed to see on 9th August? It seems coincidental that another should appear in more or less the same spot! If this is the same bird, its been around since at least the 2nd August, when it was first reported to RBA!

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